Washington Nationals Reportedly Out Of Cliff Lee Sweepstakes

The Washington Nationals had always been a darkhorse in the race for top free agent Cliff Lee, but they were self-described "longshots" due to their disinclination to offer a very long-term contract. Now, it appears they are out of the chase entirely, especially after multiple teams have offered Lee the seven-year deal he desired.

According to MLB.com's Bill Ladson, the Nationals have exited the sweepstakes themselves. 

The Nationals are out of the Cliff Lee sweepstakes, a baseball source told MLB.com on Sunday night. No reason was given as to why the left-hander passed on Washington.    

We can pretty much guess that the reason is because the Nationals didn't want to give him the contract he wanted. As Ladson writes, the Nationals weren't going to give Lee a seven-year contract, whereas the Rangers and Yankees have already shown a willingness to do that. It's not too hard to connect the dots here. 

The Nationals will instead turn to long-range trade targets such as Kansas City's Zach Grienke and Tampa Bay's Matt Garza. It doesn't look like the Nationals will be willing to surrender both Jordan Zimmermann and Ian Desmond, so it's unlikely a trade happens, but you never know.

Trending Discussions

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SB Nation DC

You must be a member of SB Nation DC to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation DC. You should read them.

Join SB Nation DC

You must be a member of SB Nation DC to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation DC. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.